NITI Aayog CEO pitches to consider water as commodity; makes a case for putting price tag on it


Amid drought in some states, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Friday pitched for considering water as a commodity, saying pricing is very critical for realising its economic value and making people respect the scarce resource.

“As long as you don’t price water, you will never get the economic value of the water and we will never get to respect water until you don’t price it,” Kant said at a panel discussion here.
Citing example he said, “Many of these lessons come from smaller cities like Singapore. They have done extremely well in terms of water conservation … rain water, dual piping …

treating water as a commodity so the pricing of water is very critical.”

He was of the view that India needs to do several things around water and there is not single solution to deal with the issues related to water.

“It is not one single solution. We need to create a huge moment around watershed. We need to do a lot of work around conservation and presentation about recycling of water…use a better technology in term of recycling of water. We need do a lot of breakthroughs in desalination of water,” he added.

It is not the first time that government think tank has talked about pricing water. The erstwhile Planning Commission has also deliberated on the issue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka here tomorrow for discussions on drought and water-scarcity situation which has hit these states badly.

The Chief Ministers of three states — Akhilesh Yadav, Devendra Fadnavis and Siddaramaiah — have been invited by the Prime Minister for separate meetings.

At these meetings, Modi will take stock of the situation with regard to drought and water-scarcity that these states are facing, they said. UP, Maharashtra and Karnataka are worst hit by the twin problems.

The Centre has already made it clear that while it was doing its bit to provide relief to those affected by the drought, it was for the states themselves to address the situation on the ground.